Let us read Daniel today, my spirit cries out. What makes Daniel different and worthy as an individual to be so well recorded in heaven and written with such great length in the Bible? What does God say of Daniel? Why is he considered so special and highly respected and honored by even the powerful pagan kings? What is the key success factor word if we have only one sentence or one word to describe him? I shall try to summarize the book of Daniel to answer these questions. Lifestyle is the sum total of who we are inside and our attitude toward life.
The physical Daniel: a noble (royal family) young man taken hostage from Jerusalem in 605 BC to the Babylonian court. He qualified for the pagan king’s requirement: an Israelite from the royal family and nobility-young man without any physical defects, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well-informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. The Babylonian king considered Daniel as a person with insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom, ten times better than his counselors (all the magicians and enchanters) in his whole kingdom. (Daniel was taken hostage probably in his teen, and subsequently lived through the captivity period 605-530 BC in the courts of the Babylonian kings and the Medes and Persian kings respectively.)
The spiritual Daniel: He knew his God. All his actions were persistently and consistently based on this reality of a living God in his personal total life (inside and outside). He described God as “the Lord my God”. He addressed God as: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” He knew God as absolutely holy. Therefore he resolved not to defile himself with the spiritually ‘unclean’ (including pagan food, drink, idolatry religious practices and rituals). He knew God as awesome and the only God for him. Therefore he remained calm and composed despite threats of his life. He remained faithful and loyal to his God. He knew God’s spiritual reality. Therefore he could understand visions and dreams of all kind. He could even ask God to reveal mysteries (beyond the human realm) to him, about things to come.
For example: He even knew the details of a dream of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and correctly interpret them The king heard and fell on his face and prostrate before Daniel and declared that Daniel’s God is “the God of gods, the Lord of kings.” The queen mother described Daniel to her son King Belshazzar that Daniel was a man “in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. Light and understanding and excellent wisdom were found in him.”
The Daniel as a role model of an overcomer: He knew God. He testified for God. He was not afraid of death because of his testimony and faith in the living God.
What does God say about Daniel? From the conversations and messages the angel (Gabriel) held with Daniel, we know that Daniel was a man greatly beloved of God, and from the first day he set his heart to understand God’s mystery, God heard his words (prayers), replied, granted his requests. God even sent His mighty angel in reply. God also saved and preserved Daniel from harm. Daniel lived to a ripe old age before the living God.
Daniel’s spiritual, godly and prayerful lifestyle was entirely based on his lifelong unwavering belief in the living God and attitude toward God. Indeed, he has the Spirit of the Holy God in him.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
The Time of the End
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2-3)